Principal photography expected to wrap in next few days as strike looms
The threat of a strike by Hollywood actors from June 30 onwards is already disrupting Hollywood productions, with studios either reluctant to greenlight projects or accelerating the pace of existing productions - reports The Guardian
"No one is doing anything that finishes after June 30, [and] nobody's starting anything now. There is the impact of a strike already," a lawyer representing artists told the Hollywood Reporter. Close to 120,000 actors could down tools at the end of the month if their main union, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and Tinseltown studio representatives are unable to renew the contract regulating actors' employment. If thesps do go on strike, it would immediately shut down all Hollywood productions as they cannot be replaced.
Studio MGM has yet to greenlight the remake of Fame or the sequel to the 1999 version of the Thomas Crown Affair. Several projects have also been pushed into production in April so that they could complete filming by June 30, including Martin Scorsese's 50s cop thriller Shutter Island starring Leonardo DiCaprio or Steven Soderbergh's whistleblower drama The Informant. These and others, such as the latest Bond outing Quantum of Solace or Disney's High School Musical 3, are expected to wrap in the coming days. Meanwhile, several high-cost productions, such as the videogame adaptation Prince of Persia, Nottingham - Ridley Scott's retelling of the Robin Hood tale - or Roland Emmerich's apocalyptic action movie 2012, won't start filming until late summer, in the expectation that an actors' strike would run only in July.
Other projects, such as the sequel to the blockbusting hit Transformers or the adaptation of the Dan Brown bestseller Angels and Demons, have already planned a break in their schedule, which they hope will coincide with the length of a strike action. Transformers 2 director Michael Bay says he could switch his focus to special effects during a strike, and return to filming with actors if and when it's over.
Films expected to be less affected by a possible strike are indie features, as SAG and small production companies have signed agreements allowing filming on more than 300 projects to be completed even if a strike takes place.
If industrial action does take place, it would be the second major strike disruption in Tinseltown in less than a year. Between November 2007 and February 2008, screenwriters downed pens after their union and Hollywood studio representatives could not renew the contract regulating writers' employment terms.
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